Picture styles

Canon dSLRs support Picture Styles that provide a way to manage photo colors from shoot to print. When you’re using Canon cameras, software, and printers, this proprietary standard allows you to be sure that what you shoot is ultimately what will print, providing you stay with Canon equipment and applications.

In your camera’s menu, you can select from several different Picture Styles: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, or User Defined (for which there are three available settings you can create).

Additionally, you can adjust the parameters of some of the individual Picture Styles to your own settings. The adjustable, user-settable Picture Style parameters include Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, and Color Tone. Each one is adjustable on a nine-point scale.

When using Picture Styles during shooting, make sure you are using RAW if you plan to use Digital Photo Professional to prepare your RAW files for other programs. In Digital Photo Professional, the Picture Styles do not work with JPEG images.

I opened a photograph I wanted to work with in the Edit window and opened the Tool palette (in the View menu) to do this. Look at how some various Picture Style adjustments might affect my photo (see 9-24).

Canon Picture Styles, which integrate with the camera, software, and printer, are selectable from the center of the Tool palette.

From the Picture Style drop-down menu, I can select one of the Canon Picture Styles and apply it to the image if, for example, the one I applied in-camera has left a strange color cast on the image. Also available from this Tool palette are adjustments for contrast, color tone, color saturation, and sharpness based on the Picture Style currently applied. In 9-25 I selected Landscape, which changed the colors subtly in the image. If I had chosen monochrome, the change would obviously be more profound. You may be happy with the Picture Style that you chose initially when taking the image, but this feature of Digital Photo Professional allows you to try other styles to verify your choice was correct or to enhance the look of the photo with a different style.

The Landscape Picture Style, shown here as selected in the center of the Tool palette, changes tones to emphasize and optimize an outdoor photo. Note that while this image of the desert is certainly a landscape, the presets for this Picture Style are more designed for green-and-blue outdoor scenes than brown and yellow. As a result, I also explored other Picture Styles, one of the distinct advantages of Digital Photo Professional.

Canon has defined what the various non-adjustable Picture Style settings are intended to produce in digital photos:

  • Standard. The default setting; produces vivid, sharp, and crisp photos.
  • Portrait. For taking portraits of people; produces good skin tones. Images are somewhat sharp and crisp, and you can adjust skin tones with Color Tone.
  • Landscape. Emphasizes blue and green tones, producing very sharp, crisp images.
  • Neutral. No sharpness is applied; uses natural colors to produce subdued images.
  • Faithful. A colorimetric adjustment that ensures the photograph’s color is adjusted to match the subject’s. This assumes that the photograph was taken using a color temperature of 5200K. There is no sharpness adjustment in this setting.
  • Monochrome. Takes away all color, producing a purely black-and-white photograph.
  • Picture Style File Set in Camera. This is displayed with a photo shot using a Picture Style file that was set in the camera.
  • Picture Style File Loaded. This is indicated when a Picture Style was selected in Digital Photo Professional using the Browse button (on the Tool palette). This is useful when downloading a preset Picture Style setting, such as from the Canon Web site.

Once you are satisfied with the Picture Style applied to your image, you can use Canon’s Print with Easy-PhotoPrint Pro from Digital Photo Professional by choosing Plug-in Printing from the File menu. You then choose Print with Easy-PhotoPrint Pro.


If your camera features sensor cleaning with the automatic dust delete function, you can use Digital Photo Professional’s Stamp tool to erase dust spots in a single operation. If supported, the Apply Dust Delete Data button will appear; simply click it and then accept the changes by clicking OK to complete your spot correction. If I had taken the image in 9-23 with a camera supporting the Dust Delete function, the CMOS spot in the upper-left corner would easily and automatically be repaired.


Canon offers a useful Web site all about Picture Styles. Go to http://web.canon.jp/imaging/picturestyle/ for a detailed look at examples and details about this function. Here you can also find various preset Picture Styles that you can download either to your camera or to Digital Photo Professional as a RAW image task.


For a camera produced before the integrated Picture Styles feature was added, load RAW images from it into Digital Photo Professional and apply your Picture Styles to them.

Category: Photography Workflow

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